May 13, Monday: Departure for Marseille.
May 14, Tuesday: Arrive Charles de Gaulle airport and connect to Marseille flight. Transfer to the Sofitel, overlooking the Old Harbor. Later in the afternoon, a tour of the city will end at Notre Dame de la Garde, a 19th century church with lavish mosaics and a splendid view over the city. After a welcome cocktail and introductory remarks by Olivier Bernier, dinner will be at the hotel.
May 15, Wednesday: Our morning will be at the newly opened Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization situated in a restored fort on the Vieux Port. At lunch, enjoy the famous bouillabaisse at the Miramar restaurant whose specialty it has been for decades. After lunch, board a boat to the island of If, for many centuries a Sate Prison, and the site of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. The fort was built by Francois I in 1524. Return to Marseille for a visit to La Vieille Charité, a museum whose exhibitions are dedicated to the Ancient Roman period of the city.
May 16, Thursday: After a visit to the Museum of Fine Art in its Art Nouveau palace during which we will discover works by major French artists, lunch will be at the Michelin-starred Le Petit Nice. After lunch, continue to the Musèe Cantini and its collection of 20th century art. We then visit the workshop at which santons, the famous Christmas decorations, are made and sold. Dinner is at leisure.
May 17, Friday: We depart for Les Baux de Provence, stopping on the way in Arles to see its spectacular Roman monuments. Lunch is at leisure. This afternoon, visit Fontvieille, the house where Alphonse Daudet wrote his famous Provencal stories. Our hotel for the next three nights is the spectacular château de la Baumaniére. Dinner is at the hotel.
May 18, Saturday: Spend the morning in the charming village of Les Baux. Lunch is at leisure. After a visit the Carriéres de Lumiére, a former quarry with a multimedia presentation, continue to an olive farm for a tasting. Dinner is at the hotel.
May 19, Sunday: This morning, we visit St Rémy, Van Gogh’s favorite small town, and l’Isle sur Sorgues, with its Sunday market and antique stores. Lunch is at leisure. In the afternoon, see the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque, surrounded by lavender fields. We will see Gordes, a well-preserved picturesque hill town. Dinner will be at the hotel.
May 20, Monday: On our way to Montpellier, we stop at Tarascon, a charming town and the site of Alphonse famous novel, Tartarin de Tarascon. Continue to Nîmes with its Roman arena and the Maison Carrée, France’s only complete surviving Roman temple. Our hotel for the next four nights is the château de Verchant near Montpellier, a five-star hotel and spa. Dinner is at the hotel.
May 21, Tuesday: This morning, the château de Flaugergues and its tapestry collection will precede a lunch at the Folia restaurant, situated within the château’s walls. In the afternoon, visit the Musèe Fabre and its important collection of French paintings. Dinner is at leisure.
May 22, Wednesday: Spend the morning in the Mediterranean port city of Sète. Lunch is at a restaurant famous for its specialty of oysters. Return to Montpellier following the coast line. Dinner is at leisure.
May 23, Thursday: We spend the morning at Saint Guilhem le Désert and its important Romanesque church. Our farewell lunch is at the starred restaurant Le Lauzun. The balance of the day is at leisure.
May 24, Friday: Transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S.
Trip Price: $9,975 per person, $2,450 single supplement, $4,615 suite upgrade (based on availability)
For further details, please contact Susan Gullia: email@example.com, (212) 409-9555